Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Black-winged Monarch (Monarcha frater)


French: Monarque à ailes noires German: Schwarzflügelmonarch Spanish: Monarca alinegro

Monarcha frater

P. L. Sclater

, 1874,

Hatam, Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Has been considered conspecific with M. melanopsis. Race canescens sometimes treated as a separate species, but morphological and acoustic differences slight#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. f. frater P. L. Sclater, 1874 – Vogelkop and N Snow Mts, in NW & WC New Guinea.
  • M. f. kunupi E. J. O. Hartert & Paludan, 1934 – Weyland Mts and, perhaps this race, Foja Mts, in WC New Guinea.
  • M. f. periophthalmicus Sharpe, 1882 – highlands of C & E New Guinea (E from Nassau Mts to Huon Peninsula and SE Peninsula; also, presumably this race, Adelbert Mts).
  • M. f. canescens Salvadori, 1876 – NE Australia (NE Cape York Peninsula S to McIlwraith Range); non-breeding probably in S New Guinea.
  • Also recorded, race undetermined, in Fakfak Mts#R.

    Descriptive notes

    15–19 cm; 17–24 g. Male nominate race has black forehead and lores back to above front of eye, black chin and throat; hindcrown and upperparts pale grey, flight-... read more


    Rich and varied repertoire; calls frequently after rain. Most frequent call a loud, liquid,... read more


    In New Guinea occurs in hill and lower montane forests, also forest edges and secondary forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food items not well known; mostly small to medium-size invertebrates. Usually solitary and in pairs, but may join mixed-species foraging... read more


    Season Aug–Jan in New Guinea and Oct–Mar in NE Australia (where very few records), during middle to late dry season and early... read more


    New Guinea races resident. Race canescens leaves breeding grounds in NE Australia Apr... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or locally scarce in New Guinea. Locally common, scarce or rare in NE Australia.

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2018). Black-winged Monarch (Monarcha frater). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 March 2018).